All food changes, from ingredients to the diet (even within a brand !) is a food transition.
Why transition ?
• Gradually adapting a cat's intestinal flora or reducing digestive disorder due to a brutal diet change (gases, diarrhea) because a cat's digestive tract is used to the formulation of a single nutrient.
• Give your cat some time to accept this new food : it is neophobic and is therefor wary of new habits. It might try once and then refuse it for a few days, making you think it doesn't like it... It is actually suspicious !
Cats are neophobic...
In case of brutal food change, cats can become anorexic.
In other words, it can let itself starve to death while standing in front of a full dish.
It is no use telling yourself "if it's hungry it'll eat"... please take precautions...
How do I deal with that ?
The idea is to mix some of the new food into the usual meal, each time a little more. But some Cats just sort out the new and refuse to eat it, making the technique totally inefficient.
Then comes the tricky part...
** Changing humid food, starting a home made diet; or adding a new ingredient, such as zucchini, to a usual meal :
> give each day, once a day, a very little amount of the food (approximately one teaspoon, or a few zucchini or green bean dices),
> repeat until the food is eaten a few days in a row,
> double the amount, give this during a few days, until it is eaten every day...
If a home made diet is started, and to avoid wasting :
> Prepare a recipe, with the amounts of a whole day but without starch, freeze in icecubes so to use one defrosted 'icecube' each day,
> This amount shall be added to the usual meal once per day...
>double the amount, give this during a few days, until it is willingly eaten every day
> Reduce the amount of usual food once one fourth up to one third of daily needs is eaten,
> A food transition can take 1 to 3 weeks, it is not a problem !
> If a nutrient is being replaced, reduce gradually the amount of the usual food depending on the consumption of the new one.
** Changing kibble,
> Take a little amount of the usual kibble (500 grams for example) take the needed amount for a day. which will be given in different meals,
> Add up to the same amount of new kibble and mix it,
> The next day, take the amount for the day from the mixed kibble,
> Add in the mixed kibble stock, the same amount of new kibble et mix it,
After a few weeks, the transition will be done without any problem.
Tricks & Tips
For Cats, it might be more difficult than planned. Here are tips to ease up the acceptane of new food:
• Add tuna juice or soy sauce, salted stock yogurt or even grated cheese.
• Vary temperature and texture for home made diets : some prefer raw meat, others a total mix...
• When feedinng. with a home made diet, never start off with only the meat, the fish or other ingredient. You must WAIT until you have all ingredients prepared together (Vit'i5 with the rapeseed oil, then add wheat bran or choped veggies, then the meat/fish and in option, cooked carb). Give. the preparation alltogether.
If the rapeseed oil is oxidized, Cats might refuse to eat the preparation. Please choose a well preserved oil, in an opaque bottle, and keep it in your refrigerator. Do not heat it in a pan or in a microwave.